Australia officially recognises ‘Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day’

Australia officially recognises ‘Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day’

One in four pregnancies end in miscarriage.

Today the Australian Parliament has officially recognised ‘Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day’, to acknowledge families who have lost a baby through stillbirth, infant death or miscarriage. The day will be observed on 15 October alongside the international community. 

The motion was moved by a group of senators including Senator Kristina Keneally, whose daughter Caroline was stillborn in 1999. Her own loss and love for her daughter have been a driving force in advocating for families who have lost a child.

In 2018, the Senator led a Select Committee on Stillbirth Research and Education which published a report making recommendations in three key areas – namely, prevention of stillbirths, investigation into their causes, and support for families.

Important headway was made on the third area at the end of last year, following changes to the Fair Work Act, under which parents of stillborn babies are now guaranteed access to unpaid parental leave for up to twelve months.

The report also recommended a National Stillbirth Action Plan, which has also been implemented by the Government and aims to reduce the rate of stillbirths by 20% over five years.

Acknowledging this important day and implementing the recommendations in the Senate’s stillbirth report are important steps in recognising the worth of every child no matter their stage of life, and the very real grief and suffering experienced by families who lose a child through stillbirth, infant death or miscarriage.